In his January video marketing piece, Tom Tsinas reminded us of the importance of incorporating images, audio, and video into our content. He wrote: "As search engine marketers, we all know that content is king and that content is more than just text. Images, video and audio each represent a fantastic opportunity to drive traffic to our clients sites." In this post, I'd like to share two examples that demonstrate how important that statement is.
One of my responsibilities as editor for a chiropractic news website is to make sure content is optimized in a way that provides for those fantastic opportunities Tom talks about. On a recent Sunday evening I was preparing a news piece regarding a story that involved pharmaceuticals being found in numerous US Metro water supplies. I felt it was a well-written article but it needed an image to make it complete. A photo was added and properly tagged for relevance to the article. Post was published and I went on to my next task.
What's an Image Worth?
How long did it take to include an image and did it really make a difference? I figure it probably took me less than three minutes to locate, crop, apply tags to, and include the image in the post. Not a major task. (It's important to mention that the chiropractic website I edit for is indexed by Google News, which provides an advantage to getting article traffic.)
How nice is it to wake up on Monday morning with a fresh cup of coffee and your image appearing smack dab top and center of the news homepage? I'd call that one of the fantastic opportunities Tom was talking about.
Looking at the screenshot we can see there were more than 650 related news articles on the topic (that number grew to over 1200 by midafternoon). The chances of my websites article getting the top position are almost nonexistent (they are usually reserved for major news outlets), but the inclusion of an image provides for that opportunity we speak of. Guess what? People click on images. If I were my client, I'd have been very pleased. Lesson: include an image in every post.
Simple Video and Local Television News
Tom's post was more focused on the opportunity of utilizing video, rather than images, so let's take a look at an example that work for me (which involved no cost). Back in August of 2007 I shot a 90 second video of a friends 11 year old daughter speaking about his chiropractic business, and I uploaded it to YouTube. I pretty much forgot about it after that. Six months later he informed me his local small business was getting new clients as a result of the video.
I was impressed that this small business could attract new local clients from a YouTube video, so I wrote a post about it (which included an image and the video embedded into the post). Less than 24 hours later the chiropractor's office was calling me to say a local NBC news channel had read the post, watched the video, and was coming to the office to interview the doctor and his daughter. The story ran on the Tuesday night local evening news... Local tween hits it big on youtube.com. I checked that one off as a fantastic opportunity.
Last week Jeff Quipp wrote about using Using Digg to Get TV and other mentions in off-line media. I had not utilized that method but you can bet I'll be doing further research on it.
Michael Dorausch is the Founder of Planet Chiropractic, a website launched in 1998, that specializes in alternative health topics, and just about anything related to living a chiropractic lifestyle.
11 thoughts on “Don’t Forget the Images and Video”
Great guest post, Mike. As well as the benefits you already state, I think that images also act as a sort of magnetic force in a blogpost, in the same way that headings or bolded text (used correctly and sparingly) do. They pull the reader’s eyes down to the next block of content, breaking up what sometimes can look to be one big daunting mountain of text.
Congrats on the achievement 🙂
Thanks Nick. I agree, and I’ve worked to find some sort of image to hopefully include in every post. I hadn’t mentioned it, but the site gets a good amount of traffic for image search, so there is that bonus as well.
We have evidence of this as well.
After adding images (with titles, tags, etc.) to every post, traffic has shot up. After all, there’s no doubt that a reader’s experience is better with an image.
Agree images add visual stimulation and optimisation benefits. But I’d add that it is important to keep the image relevant to the subject matter. It’s obviosuly not an issue in the example Michael provides, but I’ve seen plenty of bloggers insert random images that have no context to the article. I do not advocate inserting an image purely for the sake of it.
I agree with James. I noticed that images provide better ctr on ads,too. But I don’t add it for the sake of it.
Thanks for the great article Michael. A colleague and I were just discussing integrating more video related products and services in to our offerings and we were kicking around ideas about how to do that. This further enforces his thoughts that this is an area worth investing in. From an SEM perspective the challenge is convincing clients that video can drive new business and traffic in interesting and unexpected ways like this.
What is it about chiropractors, that they tend to be so innovative with their marketing? We even did an AdWords video on this after seeing all the buzz about the LA chiropractor video…
What should i put emphasis on: title or alt? I found it annoying to add title and alt on images. Which of these two that image search engine use?
Charles, Google has expressed it prefers ALT for just an image, TITLE for when the image is linked to a new/other page.
In both cases the increase in relevance is not tremendous: Google knows anyone can easily manipulate these elements.
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